The 2019 general elections may be a forgotten issue but the Nigerian Army’s translucent apolitical and uncompromising role is still fresh in the hearts of many.
The country’s gallant troops stood to defend its democracy and integrity by successfully thwarting malicious intent of the opposition to rig and rain terror on innocent electorates, especially in the oil-rich South-South region.
The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) domiciled in Rivers State is the latest to shower encomiums on the military under the leadership of Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
In a letter addressed to the Army Chief, the Rivers CSOs reckoned that with their intervention, there was a near-zero electoral violence and killings during and after the last exercise.
According to the group, the singular initiative of establishing Army’s Situation Room averted the impending massacre.
Signed by Convener, Comrade Tamuno George, the CSOs were even more impressed by the Army’s resoluteness in the face of pressure and conspiracy by Governor Nyesom Wike.
“ These CSOs are particularly bolstered into this open appreciation of your leadership of the Army because the 2019 general elections were scary for us and other electorates in Rivers state, Niger Delta region and the entire country. We least expected that Nigeria would come out of it unhurt as it is today,” the letter read in part.
“ Sir, and for the first time, we saw and utilized the Army’s Situation Room under your leadership, which monitored and promptly responded to insecurity alarms from Nigerians in all parts of the country.
“ This singular initiative saved Nigerians from the planned electoral violence and killings. It averted the plots of electoral heist by demonic forces in Nigeria in 2019. We saw top military officers, especially in Rivers state, who stoutly resisted the numerous temptations of financial inducements by the incumbent Government of Rivers State to compromise the ballots.
“ We applaud the good conduct of the Nigerian troops particularly in Rivers State, where a vicious Gov. Nyesom Ezenwa Wike who was so desperate for reelection by hook or crook, blackmailed, intimidated and undermined the Army with his executive might.
“ It has not escaped our memory that Gov. Wike attempted to tarnish the good image and reputation of the Nigerian Army under your leadership by severally approaching the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Jamil Sarham and other officers to compromise the electoral process. When the attempts failed, Gov. Wike went to bizarre extents in blackmailing the institution of the Nigerian Army.
“ We dare say, without the intervention of soldiers, Gov. Wike would have murdered a sizeable population of the people of Rivers state like he did in 2015 for the sake of political power.
“ But Gen. Sarham resisted his devilish overtures and he is greatly appreciated for his steadfastness to save lives and protect Nigeria’s democracy in Rivers state. Again, the Army under your command actually saved democracy in Nigeria and our experience in Rivers state amply attest to it.
“ And Sir, when we heard of the James Moore group, the “UK Matters Most”, protests in London to #10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and delivered a letter to Queen Elizabeth II as well as the Westminster Parliament, compelling these top government officials to kick-start action on Gov. Wike’s alleged $1 million bribe to the High Commissioner and consulate officials in the British High Commission in Abuja, it was clear to us, Gov. Wike’s failure to monetarily influence the Army or compromise them compelled him to shift his devilry to foreign officials.
“ We learnt Gov. Wike’s alleged $1 million bribe to British High Commissioner and Consulate officials in Abuja was meant to have the British election observers cook an incriminating report, which will implicate and question the partiality of the Nigerian Army, especially, the innocent Gen. Sarham and his officers in Rivers state.
“ But God intervened by exposing the innocence of the Nigerian Army under your command by leaking the secret deals designed against your troops in Rivers state. The “UK Matters Most,” group’s protest in far away London explained it all. “